The killings continue under Arroyo

Ernesto Ladeca, member of Bayan Muna in Misamis Oriental, was shot dead the other day in front of his home by motorcycle-riding assassins suspected to be elements of the Philippine Army.

The killing no longer surprised the public, no small thanks to President Arroyo’s public display of admiration for General Jovito Palparan who started such modus operandi in neutralizing activists.

On the same day, the Counsels for Defense of Liberties released the final report of the recently-concluded International Fact-Finding Mission on Attacks Against Filipino Lawyers. The report is an indictment of President Arroyo for not stopping and even encouraging the killings. For the European lawyers and judges who undertook the mission, the Arroyo government is only democratic in form, but falls terribly short of genuine democracy and grossly disrespects the rights of Filipinos. The full report may be downloaded at Indymedia QC Pilipinas.

Right here in Southeast Asia, the Asian Human Rights Commission based in Hong Kong likewise assailed the Arroyo government for the continuing murders of activists and the unresolved status of past murders.

For the second time, Amnesty International also challenged the government to put a stop to the killings.

For my dear friends, I am sure that this is no longer news. The Philippine state has brainwashed many into accepting the killings of leftists as acceptable. In its warped sense of democracy, the Arroyo government views unarmed and civilian activists as enemies of the state that are targets for liquidation and offers no differentiation with armed revolutionaries of the New People’s Army.

The bloodshed is intended to terrorize activists and would-be activists. But the terror may only affect the new ones and only for a short period of time. Citizens who are criminalized for merely exercising their rights to assembly, association and expression would expectedly realize that the terrorism wrought against them must be matched be counter-terrorist and revolutionary resistance. Ferdinand Marcos was said to have used martial law and total war against all his enemies, but instead of killing the communist movement, more people joined the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

Meanwhile, as more Filipinos get killed by the death squads, all that Palace officials are seen doing are: 1) clapping, laughing and rapping away with a visiting Fil-Am artist; 2) quarreling among themselves over funds supposedly intended to save Filipinos caught in the Israeli terrorist war on Lebanon.

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